We four lingered in Sean’s room and rambled on about the topic that gets every trendy male hot in the crotch: short films. Jaemin and Mike shared story ideas they spent Monday preparing. Sean explained Rory’s First Kiss. Me, I loosened my lips about “The Sequel to How We Met,” my seven page script. This is to be our summer of creativity, and from this afternoon I think we all gleaned a rush of inspiration.
When our meet came to an end and they stepped aside to return to that magic place I call El Aay, I led Sean into his sweltering garage.
This is where my script takes place, and so I tried to light it. The gold hue on his face is from a reflector off camera. The problem is we’re using ten-dollar utility lights, with tempered wax paper to diffuse the bulbs. While this makes a passable medium-to-close shot, there’s no ‘artistic’ coverage in spots with less coordination of lights. The walls are too dark.
The answer to this problem lies with china balls: omnidirectional exposure for all the nooks in the garage. Separation and tone will be controlled by a gradient: light to dark, no black.
I did my best to churn out a dialog piece, in which characters do nothing but talk-talk-talk. In Screenwriting they advise you not to “tell” as much as you should “show.” My guess is that “showing” is for certain types of cinema I want to avoid at the moment. Plays are ideal for dialog: we know going in that action will be substituted with speech. We expect it. In cinema, it can feel like we’ve been cheated. The best talk-heavy films make us feel rewarded for listening and paying attention.
I saw the trailer for 500 Days of Summer. I liked it. But it made me feel dirty. If it looks good, it is because it fills in the cliches like a tailored suit. I’m sure there’s an emo checklist at the office of every small studio; if you qualify you get submitted to Sundance, like a darling honor student bussed away to the national spelling bee. I imagine the studios blowing kisses and shedding a tear, “Do your best! Even if you don’t win, we still love you!”
Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape ignited a crazy-unique revolution of varied tastes. This current “revolution” seems aligned to please the studios and the iTunes crowd, and that makes me suspicious. When indies become homogenized in the future (if they haven’t already), where does that leave the voices of artists who don’t care about how cute Zooey Deschanel is? Or how awesome it would be if Natalie Portman was baited in front of you like a carrot-on-a-stick?
Oh that’s right. We’ll still have the internet, you and I. Hmm, now about those china balls…